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Polanski's wife hits out at Tarantino over Sharon Tate

Aurélie Mayembo and Fiachra Gibbons

Agence France-Presse

Cannes, France  /  Sat, May 25, 2019  /  04:07 pm
Polanski's wife hits out at Tarantino over Sharon Tate

Actress Emmanuelle Seigner attends a photocall for the film 'At Eternity's Gate' presented in competition on September 3, 2018 during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. (AFP/Alberto Pizzoli)

Roman Polanski's wife hit out at Quentin Tarantino on Friday for not consulting her husband over his critically-acclaimed "Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood" which features Polanski's late second wife Sharon Tate as a character.

French actress Emmanuelle Seigner took to social media to accuse Tarantino of "using the tragic life of someone and then walking all over them".

Tate was eight months pregnant when she was murdered by members of the Manson family cult in 1969 while married to the Polish-born director of "Rosemary's Baby".

In a post on Instagram, Seigner said she was not attacking the film as such. 

"I am just saying that it doesn't bother them (in Hollywood) to make a film which takes Roman and his tragic story... while at the same time they have made him a pariah. And all without consulting him of course," she wrote.

Polanski fled to France in 1978 after admitting the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl, and spent 42 days in jail before being released for good behaviour.

Read also: Tarantino strikes Cannes gold with 'Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood'

Tribute to murdered actress

The 85-year-old has been a fugitive ever since from the US justice system, despite repeated attempts to have him extradited. 

Tarantino's epic, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio is set in Los Angeles in 1969, and has Polanski as a fleeting figure, with his then-wife played by Australian Margot Robbie.

"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" is one of the favourites to lift the Cannes film festival's top prize on Saturday, 25 years after Tarantino last won the Palme d'Or for "Pulp Fiction".

Tarantino reportedly consulted Tate's sister, the writer Debra Tate, before he started filming, and told reporters at Cannes that he wanted to drag Tate's great lost talent back from the tabloid headlines.

Robbie, who wore double braids framing her face in tribute to Tate's hairstyle during a 1968 visit to Cannes, said she felt an obligation to do justice to the late actress. 

"Quentin said it to me early on -- she's the heartbeat of the story. I just saw her as a ray of light," she said.

"I felt like I could honour the memory of real-life Sharon Tate who so many people said was such a bright light."

Seigner, 52, who has two children with Polanski, is best known for her roles in the Oscar-nominated "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly".

While her husband rarely speaks in public, she often jumps to his defence.

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